Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.


The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Lawsuit against VANOC, RCMP cleared for takeoff

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge gave the green light Wednesday for a helicopter skiing company's lawsuit to proceed against the Vancouver Olympic committee and the federal and B.C. governments.

Justice Arne Silverman denied the defendants' application to dismiss a Feb. 11, 2010 claim by Coast Range Heliskiing of Pemberton. Coast Range sued after it laid-off staff and closed for winter 2010 because it said the RCMP Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit’s Olympic security screening and no-fly zones made it impossible to do business. VANOC compensated Whistler Blackcomb, Cypress Mountain and Whistler Heliskiing for lost business and Coast Range thinks it deserves similar treatment.

"I am satisfied that a trial issue arises by virtue of the plaintiff's position that its action is not founded upon an attack of the regulations," Silverman said in court. "It attacks the procedures and measures which flow from those regulations, procedures which are not themselves legislative or regulatory."

A three-week trial is scheduled for January 2012.

"This trial, simply because it involves the Olympics, may be one that attracts public interest and, in my view, a full airing of the issues is in the public interest,” Silverman ruled. "These are events of a year ago, it's no surprise the issues are still unfolding and evolving."

Silverman ordered Coast Range lawyer Cameron Ward to file an amended and clarified statement of claim by Feb. 11.

Ward represented Vancouver retailer Susane Heyes, who won a $600,000 nuisance judgment in May 2009 after losing business because of Canada Line rapid transit construction. That case is under appeal.

Silverman’s ruling may have implications for at least two other lawsuits filed in B.C. after the Games. Mario's Gelati and a group of six small airlines and flight schools are also seeking compensation for lost business. The ice cream parlour and factory near the Vancouver Olympic Village is suing VANOC, City of Vancouver, B.C. and the federal governments. The aviation companies named the federal government and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority in their action.

Bob Mackin reports for 24 Hours Vancouver.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus